canning… gingered rhubarb riesling pickles (and BBQ sauce)

02Jul13

ImageGrowing up, we had two rhubarb patches that (I think) just came with our house. We didn’t plant them, they just always existed (mom & dad — correct me if I’m wrong!) There was the patch at the front of the garden and the patch at the back of the garden in amongst the compost heap. Every year since I was young, I was in charge of the rhubarb patch at the front of the garden and my dad laid claim to the compost patch. We would compete to see whose rhubarb patch grew the best. I always won because my rhubarb patch was in a much better spot in the garden I’m, apparently, much better at gardening than my dad.

Anyway, my mom came in to Toronto during the last weekend in May and I MADE her bring me all the ripe rhubarb from my rhubarb patch her backyard. I was in a bit of a canning and pickling kick after making the asparagus and grape tomatoes, so I scoured the internet for interesting preserved rhubarb recipes that involved water bath canning. Now, MOST recipes for pickled rhubarb were for refrigerator pickles, which at the time was not something I wanted to do. I wanted to get out the canning pot and process some pickles, damnit, not just stick some crap in a jar, cover it in liquid, and shove it in the fridge. One of the only recipes I found where the rhubarb was actually processed was this one:

http://food52.com/recipes/12171-gingered-rhubarb-riesling-pickles

Bonus: this recipe made me go out and buy wine. I like wine, but never think to just have it around. I’m trying to change that, so I bought two bottles.

Anyway, I poured myself a glass of wine and prepared the rhubarb and brine. I had enough for three 500mL pint jars of the rhubarb, plus more rhubarb to stew (see next post).

Since making these pickles, I’ve used one jar. They turned out really mushy, but pretty tasty. I don’t think process rhubarb pickles in a water bath again though. I’m a bit at a loss as to what to do with them. So far, I used some of the jar in a salad with goat cheese, spinach, and nuts. It was pretty good, and could be a good salad dressing, but I think needs some honey or sugar to even out the tartness. I used the rest of the jar as the basis of a BBQ sauce that I made up. This is what I did:

Image

Leftover Gingered Riesling Rhubarb Pickles BBQ Sauce
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2/3 cup pickling brine
1 1/3 crushed tomatoes (from a can.. like a real tin can, not a home canned can)
1/2 cup pureed pickled rhubarb (rhubarb, ginger, spices)
1/3 cup honey
Spash Worchestershire sauce
1/4 cup molasses

Heat oil on medium.
Add onion, cook 3-4 minutes
Add garlic, cook additional 3 minutes
Add everything else except molasses,* bring to a boil and simmer until your boyfriend comes home, tastes it, and tells you to add molasses.

*You can add molasses at this point if you do not have a boyfriend.

I put this on salmon and it was delicious. It’s quite tomato-y, so I think I’d put less crushed tomatoes if I ever made it again. I think Bryan put it on steak. I wanted to put it on BBQ tofu for dinner last night, but it turns out that freezing & thawing medium tofu doesn’t change the texture enough for it to be strong enough to grill. Bah. But, I still have almost a full 500mL pint jar in the fridge of the sauce. I didn’t can the sauce. I don’t know if it’d be safe. I’m not an experienced enough canner to even think to try and I haven’t done any research into canning BBQ sauces.

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